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2 large Omani banks to start merger talks

Omani banksBank Dhofar and National Bank of Oman are proposing discussion on a possible merger which would create a new financial institution in the country with $20 billion in assets. The board of Bank Dhofar gave the assent at a meeting and resolved to commence discussions with National Bank of Oman to explore the possibility of a merger between the two entities. NBO confirmed its intentions on talks for the possible deal, which the two lenders said is subject to obtaining final approval from respective boards, shareholders, stakeholders and regulators. Both the banks have 4 common shareholders – 28% ownership in Bank Dhofar and 29% ownership in National Bank of Oman is held by Civil Services Pension Fund, Ministry of Defense Pension Fund, State General Reserve Fund and Public Authority for Social Insurance. Bank Dhofar had ended merger negotiations in October 2016 with smaller rival Bank Sohar after the 2 sides were unable to reach an agreement on issues related to the tie-up. NBO, on the other hand, abandoned plans to join Bank Muscat in 2005 and, a decade later, ended its bid to acquire much smaller United Finance in 2015.

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